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December 7, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Johnny Gargano Image Credit: WWE

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Hello NXT watchers! It’s Tuesday night once again, and it’s time for another episode of WWE NXT. I’m Jeremy Thomas, back as ever, and tonight we’re handling the fallout from NXT WarGames. We have a lot of intrigue with Johnny Gargano set to address his much speculated-on future, Kyle O’Reilly battling Von Wagner in a steel cage, and much more. There will be a lot of curious eyes set to see what happens with those two guys considering their contract statuses — oh yeah, and MSK’s shaman will be revealed. That is also a thing.

Here in the Thomas household, I had a movie day on Saturday as I went to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife and House of Gucci. I really enjoyed the former as a fun nostalgia dip which also stands on its own, while House of Gucci was worth watching for Lady Gaga and (for very different reasons) Jared Leto, but the rest of the film was very “meh” to me. I also was incredibly pleasantly-surprised by The Mitchells vs. The Machines on Netflix, which is one of my favorites of the year as an animated family film with a lot of heart and humor. I also saw The Many Saints of Newark, which unlike Afterlife was a nostalgia grab that doesn’t stand on its own and is just a generic mobster movie hoping you latch onto the period takes on beloved characters. I’ve also been watching The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula season four week by week and have been adoring it, and am ecstatic to see it has been renewed for a new season.

Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* We start off with a recap montage from NXT WarGames showing off some of the action and selling Cora Jade’s heroic babyface win, Cameron Grimes shaving Duke Hudson’s head, Joe Gacy losing his Cruiserweight Title match, Von Wagner unsuccessfully attacking Kyle O’Reilly, and Team 2.0 winning WarGames.

* We’re LIVE in the Capitol Wrestling Center (and sadly no more Beth Phoenix, but we’ll make due with who we have). The cage is up in the ring, and we’re apparently going right into Von Wagner vs. Kyle O’Reilly!

Steel Cage Match
Von Wagner vs. Kyle O’Reilly

KOR attacks Wagner on his way out and gets him in the cage, closes the door and here we go! O’Reilly beats on Wagner in the corner and Irish whips him, Wagner reverses and no-sells a clothesline before delivering one of his own. Wagner gets KOR in the corner, works over the torso and knocks him down. But Kyle takes control again and begins to work over Wagner’s arm until Wagner hits a back suplex to get out of it.

Wagner goes for a falling headbutt but KOR moves and then lays in a host of elbows and knees. Diving knee and another before he yanks back on Wagner’s nose. He lets go and begins kicking and striking Wagner in the corner, but Wagner shoves him off with a choke push and hits a big boot. Punches to a downed O’Reilly and then a gutwrench suplex.

Wagner pushes Kyle’s head into the cage with his boot as “YOU STILL SUCK” chants echo. Wagner goes in again but Kyle grabs the ankle until Wagner punches him in the head. He ducks under Von and begins to strike until Von catches a knee and hits a bodyslam, then a falling headbutt off the ropes for two. Laying waistlock by Wagner to slow it down, he pulls KOR back into a german suplex position for a two-count.

O’Reilly is trying to fight out of the waistlock and avoids being rolled into another pin. Wagner yanks him left and right in the waistlock but KOR gets to his feet and elbows out of the hold finally, snapping the arm over his shoulder. He charges at Von in the corner, grabs his leg and snaps it down. Kicks by KOR until Wagner grabs him into a short-arm clothesline. Wagner with a powerbomb into the cage, but O’Reilly grabs him into a DDT as we go to PIP break.

We’re back and Wagner knocks KOR down, shrugging off kicks and strikes to take him down again. O’Reilly with a couple more kicks, fights out of a choke slam hold and sends a charging Von into the cage. O’Reilly takes Wagner down to a knee and comes in with a charging knee to take him down. Wagner up between the ropes and cage and O’Reilly comes off the ropes several times to splash him, then climbs onto the ropes for elevated kicks. He catches Wagner in a guillotine and gets him through the ropes, bug Wagner picks Kyle up out of the submission into a suplex! Wagner with a high knee to O’Reilly and a cover for two.

Wagner grabs Kyle and picks him up for an Olympic slam, but Kyle slips out and chop blocks him, then takes him down with a strike to the temple. Kyle goes up top and gets hit with a punch, Wagner climbs up and grabs Kyle in a choke hold. KOR fights free and they trade shots, Wagner goes headfirst into the cage and falls! KOR with a leap off and cover for a nearfall.

KOR grabs Wagner but gets caught with a low blow! Wagner sends Kyle into the cage, and then again. He grabs KOR into a gutwrench powerbomb and covers for three.

Winner: Von Wagner (14:27)
Rating: *** 1/4
Thoughts: Quite a good cage match, but who expected anything less? Gonna be a lot of speculation about O’Reilly’s future from here, so that should be “fun.” Either way, this did Wagner a ton of favors and positioned him as a high-level heel in NXT.

Wagner stars at a downed O’Reilly and goes to leave, but then stops. He grabs Kyle and puts him on the top rope next to the open door, hangs him in a Tree of Woe to the outside and then slams the door repeatedly into O’Reilly! And then one more right into the head while Kyle is downh. That seems like potentially a way to write O’Reilly off. Just saying.

* We get the video of Gargano after WarGames talking about how he is always honest with the NXT crowd and he is beat up, sore, tired, has a lot on his mind, and will address “everything” on Tuesday.

* Up next: Bron Breakker is live!

* We get a vignette with Joe Gacy and Harland, who says what they did at WarGames is more important than winning the championship as he broke down barriers. He teases that he’s working on changing the name of 205 Live and says that Harland is an example of breaking expectations because no one expects the size of his heart. Harland makes his NXT debut next week. Gacy says together they can change the world.

* And here comes Bron! The crowd chants “BREAKKER” for him and he talks about how Team Black & Gold is tough as nails. They built the foundation of NXT and he can say right now, he has nothing but the utmost respect for them. BUT! Tommaso Ciampa got the pin at Halloween Havoc but he got the pin at WarGames so they’re 1 – 1. He lays down the challenge for an NXT Championship match, but out comes Diamond Mine.

Malcolm Bivens comes out and calls him LaBron Breakker and says before the Creed Brothers destroy Briggs and Jensen, he wanted to congratulate Bron. He says Bron is the real deal but he wasn’t the only one who was successful. He says Roderick Strong was successful and the weight limit has been lifted, he’s looking for new challenges. Bron tells him to get to the point, and Bivens says Black & Gold built NXT, but Roderick Strong gave them the blueprint. He says Strong has his sights set on Breakker. Breakker asks where he’s at, and Bivens says don’t worry about it. When Strong returns, he’ll but an end to the “Unstoppable” Bron Breakker.

Breakker says he doesn’t care who he has to run through to get to Ciampa and says the challenge is accepted. He shoves Bivens and walks out of the ring.

Creed Brothers vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen

GYV are on commentary for this match and — just as it starts, Imperium’s music plays. They appear at the podium to watch, and Brutus attacks Jensen during the distraction. Jensen fights back and knocks Brutus down, hitting an elbow drop to his back. He gets Brutus in the corner for a couple chops, snapmares him and then kicks him in the back, cover for two.

Briggs tags in and they take Julius down with a tandem move, but Brutus fights back and tags in Julius. Briggs picks up Julius and slams him down, then hits a splash and tags in Jensen. They slide out the ring and hit Creed with a double punch. Jensen in now but Julius is as well and he brutalizes Jensen, grabbing him by the foot and tagging in Brutus. They alternate knees to the side of Jensen, and Brutus grabs him for a big bodyslam. Million Dollar Dream sleeper puts him in the corner, Brutis tags in and Jensen whipped into a fireman’s carry slam followed by another one.

Jensen fights back against the two, but gets clotheslined out of the ring and Julius tags in. He comes out of the ring and takes Jensen down, and the Veterans come off the booth to do… something. Julius tags in and grabs Jensen for the stretch muffler, Jensen tries to knee out of it and gets slammed down. Jensen fights back and hits a big punch, he goes to make the tag but there’s no tag rope because the Veterans stole it. C’mon, REALLY? During the confusion, Jensen shoves Julius into Briggs and rolls him up for three.

Winner: Briggs & Jensen (5:51)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: Perfectly fine match, with the stupid “stealing the tag rope” shenanigans and Imperium’s appearance interrupting the opening dragging it down just a touch.

* Backstage and Von Wagner says WarGames may be over but his War Games has just begun.

* Xyon Quinn is preparing for his match tonight and says that we’ll see regarding Escobar saying reality would hit him in the face tonight. He hopes Elektra Lopez is watching.

* Duke Hudson comes out to the ring and he’s of course wearing the shittiest blonde wig he can find. He says he learned that apparently you can’t trust anything on the internet because he read that his head was shaved, but here he is with a full head of hair! He trimmed his hair and put some color in it, and it’s good as new. He says Grimes is a disappointment to the WWE Universe, his friends and family.

Grimes’ music hits and Hudson puts on a wrestling headgear piece, which was actually pretty funny. Sexy Cameron comes out and says he knew Hudson would play it off, but he didn’t expect this! We all saw how Grimes shaved Hudson, but here he is denying it? He says Hudson put him through a table, cut his hair and embarrassed him, but he came out here like a man. He can’t change the way he is, but Hudson can’t handle losing.

Hudson counters that Griumes cheated and pulled his trunks, and he’s nothing more than a… Grimes finishes it for him and says he knows where he is and where he comes from, so he wants to run it back in a No Holds Barred match. Hudson says he’s on, and goes for the cheap shot but Grimes is ready. Hudson slides out of the ring and Grimes nearly tears the wig off, but Hudson escapes. We have a match for next week.

* Briggs and Jensen are celebrating their win when Jacket Time come in super-hyped. None of them like the Creeds. The GYV say they only won because of them, but Briggs and Jensen follow some free concert tickets and the Veterans brawl with Jacket Time. Karen Q is there in her PJs again, for some reason.

* Grayson Waller is trying to impress a woman with his WarGames stunts but she’s already hanging out with LA Knight. She gets in Knight’s car, and he says Waller’s all about likes and views? How does he like this view, as he drives off. Waller says he’s gonna get some views.

Carmelo Hayes vs. Dexter Lumis

The bell rings and Lumis snaps his attention to Trick, which allows Hayes to lock in a headlock and come off the ropes, over Dexter’s back — but get knocked down. Lumis looks at Trick again and Hayes grabs him, which leads into an awkward spot where Hayes falls on Lumis for one.

Lumis backs Hayes into the corner, but Hayes nails Dexter with a shot to the throat. Headlock and Lumis shoves him ribs first into the corner, and then he grabs the wraps around Hayes’ ribs and uses them to yank Hayes up and down into the mat repeatedly. He looks at Trick and slips out of the ring, Trick hides behind the announcers. Hayes tries to attack but gets decked by Lumis and rolled into the ring. Lumis follows and picks Melo up, driving him into the corner a few times. He takes aim, sizes Hayes up and charges in but Hayes moves. Hayes springboards into a crossbody and covers for two.

Hayes stops Lumis from getting up by stepping on his hand, and stomps on it. Hayes begins to target Lumis’ fingers like he’s Pete Dunne and then starts punching the hand, but Lumis gets them to their feet and punches Hayes in the ribs. Hayes with a kneelift, Lumis reverses a whip and tackles Hayes down for mounted punches. Slam off the ropes and Lumis stalks Melo before boot choking him in the corner. Lumis gets Hayes up and throws him over the ropes, then looks at Trick and drops to slide across the ring — ring into a kick from Hayes as he comes through the ropes, and we’re off to break.

We’re back and Hayes is in control of Lumis, slamming him to the mat by his hair as he tries to elbow out. Hayes with a chinlock as he steps on the hand, he tries to stomp the hand but Lumis moves and hits a couple of shots. Irish whip reversed by Hayes into a punch, snapmare and he slams Lumis’ hand into the mat again a couple more times. Big chop in the corner, Irish whip across the ring and a couple of kicks to the head. Hayes backs off and Trick talks shit, which wakes LUmis up. He gets up but eats a kick to the head, Hayes goes for a suplex but Lumis hits one of his own instead. Lumis runs over Melo a couple of times, sizes him up and hits a clothesline and bulldog out of the corner. Back suplex, kip up into a legdrop, cover for two.

Lumis is lying in wait as Hayes slowly gets up, he goes for Silence but Hayes rolls him up for two. Lumis catches hnim and locks in the silence, but Trick decks Lumis for the DQ.

Winner: Dexter Lumis (12:43)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: This got off to an awkward start and had a very noticable botch, but it picked it up toward the end until the cheap ending. Very underwhelming.

Lumis locks Silence in on Trick but Trick is quicly saved by Hayes.

* We finally find out who the MSK shaman is — and it’s Riddle! Riddle says he’s been waiting for them to knock on his door, and it’s time to get down to business as he puts on his shaman hat.

Riddle asks what’s on their brain, and Carter says they thought when they got to NXT they’d have to work their way up, but they started in the Dusty Rhodes Classic and got to the top right away. They’re worried if this is their peak, and Riddle says it’s a long journey. It’s rough and it’s not easy, but when you hike up the mountain and get to the top it’s a chef’s kiss.

They point out the Imperium has their number and asks if they’re goofing off too much. Should they change? Riddle says they shouldn’t change and they’ve climbed together, fallen together, and will climb together again. And he’ll be there all the way. He asks what’s in the bag, they look and react very positively. I bet it’s a Ring Pop.

* Mandy Rose tells Vic to shut up and says that Gigi and Jacy have some business to take care of like real women, not Cora Jade. She tells Vic to stop drooling as we go to break.

* Persia asks Indi if she knew Dexter would be at WarGames. She didn’t but is glad he’s back. Persia is too, because she’s been all focused on Dexter and she needs her best friend to focus on them and leave the love at home. Indi says she knows her life has been crazy and she’s committed to Dexter, but committed to the team too. Dexter walks in and she leaps into his arms. Gargano walks in and they crowd Persia out.

Toxic Attraction vs. Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon

Jacy starts against Feroz and backs her into the ropes. Feroz slaps her and locks in a headlock, but Jacy gets out of it and whips Feroz into the corner, Feroz flips out and rolls Jayne up for two. Feroz sends Jacy into the corner and tags in Leon, who takes Jayne down. They go into the ropes, Gigi tags in and kicks Leon in the back.

Gigi with a big fist off the ropes, and then chokes her against the ropes while TA all mock her. Irish whip into the corner and a charging big boot. Jacy tags in and hits a cannonball senton, cover for two. Chinlock by Jayne, Leon fights out and Jayne charges in but is caught into a leaping DVD.

Feroz and Dolan tag in, Feroz takes Dolan down and goes up top for a crossbody, cover for two. Another rollup off the ropes but Jacy tagged in and she tags Ferz down. Spinning kick to the jaw off the ropes and a cover for three.

Winner: Toxic Attraction (3:47)
Rating: * 3/4
Thoughts: Lackluster match that didn’t have any time to get better.

After the match, Mandy says that’s how it’s done and they’re still the baddest bitches in town after WarGames with all the gold. Rose says she knows everyone wants a shot at them, and they’re the talk of the town. She doesn’t blame us because when they’re this damned good, it’s expected. She says they’re not running from anyone and anyone who wants a shot, bring it on whether Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Raquel or anyone else. Because they are Toxic Attraction and —

Here comes Cora! Cora is in a sling and says thanks for talking about her again. She points out how she beat Rose two weeks ago, and they won WarGames. So she figured she’d come out and see if Mandy wanted to handle this face to face. Rose says Cora’s not the one, but if she wants to she can get in the ring and they can settle this right now.

And here comes Raquel with a chair! She charges the ring and Toxic Attraction bail.

* Another journal entry from Tiffany Stratton, who says her daddy said she was a natural born athlete and hired a full-time trainer for her so she dominated every competition and ended up on Team USA. But Daddy said she was too good for a team, and she’s going to be a star all herself.

* McKenzie asks Tony D’Angelo about WarGames, and he mentions how nimble Tiffany looks. He says that she showed Pete Dunne he’s not someone to take lightly and even has his souvenir. Andre Chase comes in and says that if Tony had listened to him, he’d be the star. Tony takes offense and we have a match for next week.

* Cora thanks Raquel for having her back and says it’s been a crazy time since she debuted. She could become NXT Women’s Champion, and Raquel tells her to chill a bit because she’s got Mandy’s number. Kay Lee Ray walks up with a bat and gives it to Cora, saying she needs it more than her. Cora asks what KLR is going to use, and she says she has plenty.

Santos Escobar vs. Xyon Quinn

Lockup to start and QUinn forces Santos down, but Santos reverses. Santos gets Quinn in the corner and hits a shot, then goes to run in but Quinn takes him down by holding out a block. Quinn batters Santos around the ring, picks him up for a Snake Eyes into the corner as Elektra watches, and punches Escobar down.

Esobar is fighting his way to his feet but gets battered down by Xyon. Shot to Santos in the corner, and another one to the head. He punches Santos in the kidneys and then chokes him against the second turnbuckle. More shots and Quinn looks back to Elektra, then picks up Santos and no-sells some shots to the ribs before pounding Santos down. Big bodyslam, and Quinn goes to the apron but gets distracted by Wilde and Mendoza.

Santos knocks Quinn down but Quinn quickly takes over and gets sends him into the booth. Quinn in the ring and Escobar escapes as we go to PIP break.

Escobar is in control as we’re back and he is targeting the back. His hair is fully down too. Escobar drives a knee into Quinn’s side and works the shoulder. Xyon powers out but gets pulled back into it for a moment, he manages to get out and delivers punches to the gut and the head. Atomic drop and a clothesline off the ropes, and he chucks Santos across the ring! Esocbar up and gets driven into the corner, cover for Xyon gets two.

Quinn lies in wait and charges, but Santos ducks and hits a big enzuigiri in the corner. He backs up and preps, then charges in for knees to send Xyon into the corner. Quinn up on Santos’ corner but he gets out, picks up Santos and hits a big DVD. Xyon is briefly distracted by looking to Elektra and picks Santos up onto the rop rope. Up he goes, but Santos is fighting back. Quinn with a headbutt and he grabs Santos, but Escobar gets free and drops onto the apron for a couple shots. Escobar onto the second rope, now they’re both on the top, super-rana! (That was badly telegraphed.) Elektra puts brass knucks on Quinn’s hands, he tosses them to Wilde and nails him but Santos takes the distraction to hit the Phantom Driver for the pinfall.

Winner: Santos Escobar (10:38)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: There were a couple noticeable spots that didn’t play out as well as they should have, but this was ultimately a solid match built around the loyalty of Lopez — which is still not settled.

* Diamond Mine is outside and is asked about Bron vs. Ciampa, and Bivens says Strong is THE champion. Hayes comes up and is not too happy about the idea of someone other than himself being THE champion, and they trade some insults. Hayes says Strong isn’t the A champion and walks off, and Bivens asks why everyone is so disrespectful around here.

* Up next: Gargano addresses his future. And Candice is even here.

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas